Most of us have ben there: we created a system image for our Raspberry Pi, stuck it in, and fire it up. And then we noticed that the system doesn’t seem to be using the whole microSD card’s capacity to store your documents, photos, etc. Thankfully, there’s an easy fix for that.

According to the official Raspberry Pi documentation if you have installed Raspbian using NOOBS, the filesystem will have been expanded automatically. There may be a rare occasion where this is not the case, e.g. if you have copied a smaller SD card onto a larger one. In this case, you should use this (Expand Filesystem) option to expand your installation to fill the whole SD card, giving you more space to use for files.

If you’re like me and use the Raspberry Pi for things other than to run the Raspbian OS (I use it to run my KodiTV box & NAS, and 3D printer server), then you will most likely have to take additional steps to make sure you can use your microSD card‘s full capacity.

Step 1: SSH to your device

Before you connect to your Raspberry Pi, make sure it’s powered on and connected to your local network. You will also need to install an SSH client onto your computer. If you’re on a Mac, use the supplied Terminal app. If you’re on a Windows machine, PuttySSH software is a great option.

Open the app of your choice and type in the following:

ssh pi@xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

where xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx is your Raspberry Pi’s IP address (you should be able to get this one from your router’s device list). When it asks you for a password, use its default ‘raspberry’.

If all went well, your SSH terminal should be showing similar to this:

Step 2: Launch configuration utility

In the same window, where the cursor is blinking, type the following to launch Raspbian’s configuration tool:

sudo raspi-config

If it asks you for a password, use the ‘raspberry’ one again (without the quotation marks, of course :)) A gray area will pop up within your terminal app window, with a list of configuration options.

To expand the file system, use the down arrow key on your keyboard to get to line 7 Advanced Option, hit Enter key and then select A1 Expand Filesystem:

Step 3: Reboot

Confirm you want to reboot your device. When it’s done restarting, your Raspberry Pi should be using 100% capacity of the SD card its system is stored on.

Laters!